Difference between revisions of "Bursa"
Revision as of 11:08, 31 May 2011
Bursa lies in the northwestern part of Turkey near the Sea of Marmara, about 20 km inland.
Bursa was the first major city the Ottomans, who started as a small emirate in the countryside just east of Bursa, had taken control of. As such, it served as the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire, from 1326, when it was captured from the Byzantines, to 1365, when the capital was moved to Edirne in European Turkey, as sultans started to turn their attention to Europe. Most of the historic sights of the city date back to this early period of the Ottomans.
Today, with a population of more than 2,500,000, Bursa is the fourth largest city in Turkey after Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. It is famous for its peach, chestnut, and silk, although lately, heavy industry located in the outskirts of the city has surpassed these traditional industries.
Furthermore, Uludağ—one of the highest mountains in the Turkey—lies very close to Bursa and is the main winter sports center of Turkey.
An airport serving domestic and a couple of international flights can be found in Bursa (Yenişehir Airport, IATA: YEI, ICAO: LTBR). However, in order to get to Bursa from most countries by plane, you will have to take a transit flight via one of Turkey's international airports. Istanbul's Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen are the nearest major international airports, and with a ferry connection, form the most common way of getting to the city.
There are several international and domestic flights to Bursa.
Operated by Borajet 
There is no railway in and around Bursa.
However, when coming from Ankara, you can take the high-speed train (YHT) to Eskişehir, which is located about the mid-way, and then transfer to the bus heading for Bursa there, which is provided by Turkish State Railways and departs right in front of the station. This combined trip takes around 4 hours (as opposed to 5 and a half hours by bus only), and there are seven fast train departures daily from Ankara.
Highways that are fairly wide and in good condition connect the city to north (D575/E881, from İzmit, Yalova, and Istanbul, the shortest route from last of which involves taking a ferry to Yalova), west (D200/E90 from Balıkesir with a connection to D565 from Izmir in the southwest), and east (D200/E90 from Eskişehir and Ankara, with a connection to D650 from Antalya in the south).
Buses from Istanbul take about 3 hours and cost about 10 euros.
There are bus services from all major cities to Bursa such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya. Prices vary from 10 to 50 Euros based on the distance.
This is the fastest option from Istanbul:
Güzelyalı is about 20km from Bursa so buses meet the ferry to take passengers to Organize Sanayi metro station (30mins - 3 Lira) in the outer suburbs of the city.
Take the metro to downtown Bursa - get off at Şehre Küstü station for the old section of the city close to the market area (30mins - 2 Lira). The whole journey from Istanbul to the centre of Bursa will take about 2.5 to 3 hours.
It's also possible to transit through Yalova fast ferry jetty, about an hour bus ride (which costs 9 TL pp) north of Bursa.
All of the ferries are operated by İDO . Tickets can be booked online.
The city has a metro line connecting downtown with suburbs in the northwest. There is also an extensive bus and dolmuş network. The dolmuşes in Bursa are more likely to be a normal looking white car with a sign on the roof rather than the yellow minibuses that are common in Istanbul.
Since Bursa lies on a geologically-active area, the place is rich in mineral waters and accordingly is famous for its traditional baths.
Try the İskender kebap, a dish originated from Bursa. İskender consists of roasted, sliced lamb spread atop diced bread pieces, topped with tomato sauce, served with yoghurt. A similar dish, meatballs instead of sliced lamb only, would be Pideli Köfte which is definitely cheaper and perhaps more delicious. Go to Kayhan Carsisi, very close to Heykel, for best options. Candied Chestnut is the best choice for dessert but sadly you cannot get it from a restaurant.
The best budget hotel you can stay is "Hotel Gonluferah", around EUR 70 per night, but having rooms with great views of the city as the hotel is located on the way to the Uludag mountain.
The telephone code of the city is (+90) 224.
Bursa is a safe city. But of course you should always be cautious if you're wandering alone in late night.
Other sites and places near the city include